Reviews are becoming a big part of blogs, it seems, so as we’ve grown it seemed prudent to include something here to explain the way I do things… Both for the benefit of my readers’ peace of mind, and for the edifcation of anyone who would like me to review their product.
The Biggest Rule: I review what I want to.
I review things all the time that I purchased myself or happened to run across. The vast majority of the posts tagged “review” on the blog are of this sort.
I tried something, I liked it – or hated it, and I wanted to tell you about it. No, IKEA and Boar’s Head Meat didn’t ASK me to review their products. They don’t even know that I exist, I’m sure. This is just a handy Public Service that I offer.
Sometimes people want to send me things to review.
I belong to several networking groups, and other folks – mostly other WAHMS – sometimes think they’d like to share their product with my readers.
The most important thing to me in all of this is maintaining integrity. This is important to me before God, as an example to my children, and because I would like my readers to trust me and know that anything they read on the blog is my true personal opinion and experience.
So here’s the deal:
First, refer to The Biggest Rule.
If I don’t have an interest in something, I won’t review it. If I don’t feel it is an appropriate item (or company) to feature on this blog, I won’t review it. My discretion here is (obviously) absolute.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but if you represent a company that sells t-shirts with rude slogans, or “marital aids,” or whatever else that I might not want my children to see (a good base guideline) — it’s not going on my blog.
On the other hand, I do love to try new things, and to write about them. Who wouldn’t? Well okay, lots of people aren’t frustrated writers, but I digress… My point is that it is not my intention to discourage anyone who might wish to have their product reviewed.
Second, the business sends me a sample of their “widget.”
I cannot review a website – unless it is the website that’s under discussion, rather than a product. I can’t tell from a photo and your ad copy whether the quality is good, whether it’s packaged well for shipping, whether your wiget looks amateurish in person, or whether my toddler thinks it’s fun.
In a combination of the “I bought it” and “someone wanted me to review it” categories, there are instances where there is a bigger-ticket item that I want to buy anyway and someone wants me to review. This is a perfect example of working out a win-win situation for both parties, and it has aleady been done successfully…
Third, I keep the sample widget, no matter what else happens. For a lot of reasons:
- Call it “payment” for the review. I do not accept paid ads, or paid reviews, so this is just a little perk for me.
- I am just not willing to hassle with return shipping and all of that.
- I am not willing to feel the least bit obligated to write a “good review” as a contingency of keeping the item or having to deal with sending it back. You send it, I review it. Period.
- If it’s not something we liked, or could use, I will use it as a giveaway on the blog – and the other reasons still apply.
Fourth, it’s my blog. It’s my review.
The business can/should provide me with any pertinent information, preferably in an early email, such as when you let me know the product has been shipped. I absolutely do want to know about you, your business, the story behind the item, where to find it on your website, and what other products my readers might want to know about.
BUT, you are not buying a print ad in a magazine. And this blog is not primarily dedicated to Shopping, or Product Reviews, or even WAHMs. It’s all about my experiences and my opinions. At the end of the day, the review is going to say what I feel is relevant and/or interesting and/or useful to my readers and me.
Before you contact me, take a look at the posts tagged “Review” on the blog, and see if that fits with what you’d like to see written about your widget.
If I really didn’t care for your widget, I will ask you first if you’d rather I didn’t post a review at all… But if I loved your widget and posted about it, please don’t email me in a snit asking why I didn’t tell people that you named it after your dog.
Yes! We would be delighted to offer As for My House readers an opportunity to win your products.
In fact, we prefer reviews with give-aways, since that gives new readers as well as our faithful audience an incentive to come read about your product.
Giveaways are open to U.S. residents unless you specify otherwise.
Please do not ship the products to us. We will provide you with the winner’s information and ask that you ship the product within 2 weeks.
I hate to spend a whole page talking about something that seems pretty straightforward… But I’d much rather avoid any possible misundertandings, or have anyone wonder what the deal really is with my reviews…
And after all that, please don’t hesitate to contact me at: reviews (at) asformyhouse (dot) com if you still have questions, or if you think I might enjoy reviewing your widget.